A special and personal preview to Piracanga, by Luana Andrade
Summer is my favourite season of the year. The hair becomes slim, the water becomes hot, the drinks become cold, the music becomes louder, the day becomes longer, people become happy and life becomes better.
There is always this expectation that it is going to be the best summer of my life. Since I was born, every year I go to Bahia for the summer. 2018 isn’t going to be different. I decided come to Sweden to do YIP- Youth Initiative Program and the course made a partnership with Ecovillage Inkiri Piracanga and drives me back to Bahia. When I discovered that YIP-10 changed and was going to Brazil I couldn’t believe it, I went to the website two or three time to make sure that I was reading the right information. It’s an opportunity to take initiative in my home country.
Bahia is my refuge and where I go on vacation to relax and reflect on my life. From the 26 states that Brazil has, Bahia is the one that I have travelled more. Bahia is the biggest coastal state and is bigger than France. I have a lot of good memories and history to tell of different places in Bahia. These are some special moments that always happen and I will never forget about:
- Having a shower with coconut water that you took direct from the tree
- Making a fire on the beach with reggae, samba and forro music, dancing until the sun goes up
- Cooking delicious food with fresh seafood and have monkeys visiting you in the kitchen and feeding them with bananas in your hands
- See the full moon coming up on the Atlantic Ocean with an amazing red and orange color that it is hard to explain or take a pictures of
- Swimming in the ocean and river and have the contact with the salt and sweet water at the same time
- Taking a long walk on the beach with the constant breezes on the coast to discover a new paradise and watch a beautiful sunset
- Playing different kinds of sports: soccer, altinha, capoeira, surfing, kitesurfing, bodyboard, frescobol, volleyball, beach tennis, diving, rafting, fishing, hiking, canoeing, horse riding, rafting, trekking, slackline…
- Lying down in the hammock to watch the stars in the sky, looking for shooting stars and sleeping outside
- Walking on the sand without shoes and Lying down to tan and chill
- Falling in love all the time, with yourself, the nature and life. It is the right place to have a summer love
In Brazil it is common to call Bahia a good land or land of happiness because of the joyful population and celebration. The Bahia culture is one of the richest and most diverse mixing history from the natives Indians, the Portuguese colony and slaves from Africa. You can see this diversity in the religion, architecture, food, music and art.
The predominant religion is Catholicism coming from Portugal, Afro-Baiana Candomblé from Africa and the indigenous traditions from different tribes Tupi, Tupinambás, Aimorés, Tupiniquins, Pataxó…
Every religious name day is a holiday in Bahia and it is always an excuse to celebrate. From Africa they have the Nature Gods they are called Orixás and they have the power to control nature. Exu is the guardian of all routes and crossings, he is the connection between the human being and god. Xangô is the god of fire and thunder, Iansã god of the wind and lightning, she is the connection between human beings and death. Iemanjá, god of seas and oceans. The last is my favourite celebration, we usually dress in white and do an offering to the water.
The Bahia music comes from a mix of samba, axé, forró, merengue, bossa nova and reggae. It’s also possible to see the music in capoeira and maculelê that are martial arts. Some of the musical instruments used are atabaque, berimbau and pandeiro. It is common when you travel around to see people playing in restaurants and bars.
The base of the Bahia food is dendê oil from palm nuts, coconut milk, ginger and a lot of pepper. Some typical dishes are Acarajé, Moqueca, Bobó and Feijoada. For dessert Cocada, Cuscuz and Canjica.
It was in Porto Seguro, Bahia where the Portuguese ships arrived 500 years ago. Salvador was the first capital of Brazil. Bahia is the right state to start to get to know Brazil. There is a lot of culture, national parks, waterfalls, deserts and beaches to explore. People used to say when you arrive in Bahia “Sorria você está na Bahia” (Smile, you are in Bahia). I will say, smile you are going to Bahia, Enjoy!
Technology with Nicanor Perlas
After Politics and Ecology it was time for a maybe more complicated week about Technology.
Wether you like it or not, technology is playing role in our society each day a bigger. This week was all about that. What is artificial intelligence? Why is it such an important thing that will rise in the coming years? What are the benefits of it, but also, what could it mean for the human being if at a certain point, computers become more intelligent than us? What does it mean to be human these days?.
These are all questions we tackled during this week. We had the wonderful chance of being hosted by non other than Nicanor Perlas, a well known activist of the Philippines who dedicated his life to change the world. Winner of the Right Livelihood Award (Alternatif nobel Price) and candidate for the presidency in the Philippines, he thought us all about his view on this challenge in a participative way. This week was a real eye-opening for us and we were all inspired by his incredible life path.
By Simon de Schaetzen
Entering the Inner Block
Thecnology marked the last week of the outer block and the yippies dove into the more personal, reflective part of the curriculum staring off with a practical and physical week with…
The Slava week couldn’t have been planned at a better moment. After courses talking about how sick our world is and sitting down to think about how to make it better. The Slava contributors reminded us how beautiful and magical life is. It can be a little bit confusing when you don’t know what will happen and they start singing a new song loud in your face with big open mouths and strong body posture, expecting you to do the same: by the end of the week we were all pulling out our loudest voices from the core of our being.
The first days felt tough, my thighs went through a battle against gravity coming out in pain for the rest of the week, good pain. Not only that but I discovered something that I had never achieved before (even though I tried): running, like, a lot. “Ok! Let’s start running!” and the pulse started: thirty+ people jogging inside a room, avoiding circles and holding the gaze when we ran into their eyes. Inhale through your nose, exhale twice through your mouth, at the same rhythm, the whole group exhaling “ffffh ffffh… ffffh ffffh… fffh fffh…”; the pulse, like a heartbeat giving each other life. A mind blowing experience the second day when we went outside running for an hour and a half around the neighbourhood, all connected, very close together like sheep, the pulse helping us to keep going. Those who had more strength would motivate silently those who they saw was getting tired and us who are not used to this kind of exercise were constantly being blown away by how much our bodies can do, our mind pushing us further every step we took.
Yippies learned to synchronize to a body level, feeling more comfortable with being carried by someone, slow motion walks, trusting your partner not to let you fall and feeling the impulse to improvise your movements. Presence, feel yourself, use your strength, feel the other and trust that when you throw yourself off the chimney shelf the whole group is there to catch you (it’s good to let them know you will do that, though). We are all set to do a flashmob at the airport on our way to Brazil and maybe we can add some improvised drama to it. See you then!
By Kiana Maldonado Muñúzuri
Spiritual Training with Christopher Marcus
During our Spiritual Training week, contributor Christopher Marcus led a process of unpacking what ‘spirituality’ means and sharing ways to actively bring consciousness into our lives. During the lectures, we learned about the transitional times in human lives where the physical body has been fully formed and the development of the spiritual self begins. To emphasize this transition, we practiced walking meditation, spent time alone in nature, and heard his incredible stories about vision quests and spirit animals. For many participants, this week was quite a challenging one, as we adjusted to looking inwards, releasing skepticism around spirituality, and connecting our past learnings with the teachings brought during this week. By that Friday, a lot of us had broadened our comfort zone and we were grateful to Christopher Markus for bringing this important challenge into our YIP year.
By Ro Solway
Biography Week with Annie Meijer
During Biography Week the YIP community got together in groups of five or six people. Every day the groups received a different question, which everyone could reflect on individually and then share experiences and stories from their life and listen to the others. The course was hosted by Annie Meijer with support from Rose Nevkapil and Marry Mcarthy
The whole week felt like a phenomenology of life: Five days of talking about us and our experiences; five days of listening to our friends. What arises is the multiplicity of how we live and what it means to go through this specific individuation, which is different for each and every one of us.
Some of us used the terminology of chaos to describe this week, because many people faced their struggles – or experienced the struggles of someone else. This chaos, it constitutes itself from all the lifestreams, brought into the space this week’s course offered us. This chaos is not destructive, but productive. And what interests me is the limitlessness of this chaos. There is no inner and outer. No border, where we switch from our inner selves to the outer world, from me to you. It is one, it is about us and the affirmation of the difference to the other.
In the end it is about going beyond our “own personal stories”. Each single story also takes place in every one of us, in our bodies. It is something that we can call interconnectivity between all these days of talking and listening, between us and our experiences. Of course: the singularity of our individual paths remains. But they are connected and they take place in these specific conditions and tendencies, that shape our world to the form it has today.
In a song from the German band “Tocotronic” they say: “Das ist keine Erzählung, das ist nur ein Protokoll. Doch wir können davon lernen, wie wir leben wollen / wie wir lieben wollen”
The things we talked about in this week: They are not stories, they are just protocols. But we can learn from them, how we want to live / how we want to love.
By Paul Wallenhorst
Portrait Painting with Rachel J Miller
The yippies embarked on a self discovery journey through painting their portraits with great guidance from Rachel Miller, bellow are some of the processes and outcomes of the week.
Yu Show Huang
Simon de Schaetzen
A Quick Glance at This Term’s Afternoon Activities
Social Art with Tobias
To be honest, from the beginning I was not able to imagine what a course under the title Social Arts title had to offer. But I stayed open. It was probably the best attitude I could take. After the first session the image of the content felt much clearer. The feeling of different rhythm and special atmosphere that I have experienced during the first ninety minutes become very dear to me. The space that was held by Tobias, our contributor, was always very special, each time very different, but at the same moment I felt the same atmosphere that I felt during the first session.We went through the vast spectrum of processes during our time together with Tobias. We worked with different kinds of materials, with each other, and with ourselves. We drew, tried Eurythmy, shared a lot, tried meditation and listened to stories… There was something about the space that made me go out from the everyday rhythm and thoughts. Be free, be calm and be truly present within myself. For the moment I still cannot say what social arts really mean, but here I tried to describe how it felt to be part of it.
By Jakub Hrbáň
Picture taken at the socials art performance at the Etnografiska Museum, Stockholm.
Metalwork with Richard
During the first afternoon we spent in the metal workshop, Richard gave us an introduction to some tools and techniques which everyone tired out on their own wardrobe hook. From then on we chose our own projects and developed our own ideas. There were bowls, boxes, knifes, rings, jewellery, props for a magic show, ninja stars and candle holders being produced. Richard hosted the space in an amazing way, supporting everybody very individually.
As the days turn into weeks at Undertallana (a small biodynamic farm), so did the seasons. Broccoli, coriander, tomatoes, aubergine and carrots were all harvested until suddenly Summer was replaced by autumnal leaves falling. When the rain arrived so did the mushrooms. Our curiosity for harvesting vegetables changed to harvesting mushrooms. Our group really enjoyed walking through the forest learning how to identify and pick a variety of different mushrooms. With baskets full, we made our way to the outdoor kitchen where we all gathered around the stove and cooked our fungi with garlic and butter, we laughed as we learnt that the autumnal days grew shorter. We made charcoal with Robin, this we learnt provides lots of nutritional benefits to the compost that we can then spread on our fields.
Later we enjoyed harvesting the fennel seeds. To keep our hands, warm as winter began to arrive we filled our glass jars until they became full with fennel seeds. The barn filled with a herbal aroma similar to liquorice or aniseed. Robin’s laid back and friendly disposition instantaneously put us at ease in his presence. We all enjoyed learning from him. The kinaesthetic learners in our group especially enjoyed learning in this way. It was a lovely afternoon course which was a pleasant way to digest our learnings from the morning classes. Having the opportunity to go to the farm reminded us all of how beautiful nature is and how precious these moments and places are.
By Celina Stewart
Yippies with Robin and Oskar in the forrest behind Undertallarna.
It started with an introduction visit from Robin and Oskar, here at the Hive. They were one of the afternoon contributors with whom we would be engaging with during the next months here in Sweden. After their short talk we got to taste a few veggies that they brought, and the sharp freshness of those got us very excited (we are big food lovers here..). There was a sense of mystery about this place called Undertallarna, about these intriguing persons, about what were they doing.
Well, after these three months, many Yippies feel a strong connection with Undertallarna. Some say it brings them a sense of peace and reconnection, some feel energized, and some even feel at home.
Every time we experienced different processes and practices, that constitute the work, development and regeneration happening in this Biodynamic farm. We learned about composting, with people deeply involved (quite literally) with manure, some made bio shar, others learned about food conservation methods and pickled carrots and kale. The mushroom picking lesson in the forest was a success, we all loved it, as well as vegetable beds work.
All these experiences were filled with moments of grounding conversations and the understanding that places like Undertallarna are profoundly impacting and needed as part of the process of shifting into holistic and loving action. In shifting into a higher consciousness while being very grounded.
That such knowledge and impact is to be reproduced and supported in the local communities throughout the world for nurturing and creating/connecting places of regeneration.
Now, we will be leaving, but we have already organized ourselves so that with our return to Sweden, a return to Undertallarna will also happen.
Thank you so much Robin, Oskar and all the friends from Undertallarna.
By Francesco Serrao
The Philippines Internship needs you!
Through February and March, we’re all going off on international internships in small groups. The three of us (Mackenzie from USA, Ilias from Belgium, Robbie from Canada) are interning with MISSION, an organization which helps local projects in the Philippines.
In particular, we are excited to be joining a team of youth empowerment professionals to design and organize Y-NOT, a 3-month program for Filipino millennials to rediscover what it means to be human and learn how to confront the modern challenges of global society! We would love your support in helping us work with these inspiring Filipino visionaries. We’re sharing our story along the way on Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr, and are asking our extended communities for help financing this experience, with our crowdfunding page: www.gofundme.com/learn-in-the-philippines
If you are able to donate, making even a small contribution to our funds would go a long way and mean so much to us! The amount we are ultimately hoping to fundraise is 3200 euros ($3770 USD).
No worries if you can’t donate, we appreciate you following our journey and are excited to update you on our experiences! Sharing any of our links with friends/communities is also really awesome.
Thank you very much! We can’t wait for this incredible learning adventure. E-mail us with any questions at [email protected].
With love from Mackenzie, Ilias and Robbie